Archive for the ‘Academic’ Category


2012 Central Region Encuentro Recap

In Academic,Conference,Education,Immigration,NLLSA on April 10, 2012 by NLLSA Chair

On Saturday, March 3, 2012, The National Latina/o Law Student Association and the Chicago-Kent College of Law Hispanic Latino Law Student’s Association co-hosted the Central Region Encuentro at  Chicago-Kent College of Law in Chicago, Illinois.  The audience was composed by law students coming from various schools located all over the Midwest, as well as undergraduate and high school students from the greater Chicago land area. During registration, we had representatives from the Department of Labor providing information about their job openings and the DePaul College of Law Human Rights in the Americas Summer Program providing information to students interested in summer school.

   The Encuentro began with an introduction into the Latino/a Critical Thinking Theory (LatCrit) by Northern Illinois University Law professor Guadalupe Luna.  She also spoke about her experiences teaching property law and the different pedagogical approaches taken by other professors and case book authors in the area of property law.

The first panel discussion, led by Professor Alberto Coll from DePaul Law, discussed the recent Supreme Court decision Padilla v. Kentucky. Our panelists, Professors: Anita Maddali, César Garcia-Hernandez, and Linus Chan discussed the Padilla ramifications, and described the importance of having assistance of counsel during immigration proceedings.

The second panel discussion, led by Professor Jones from NIU Law, addressed important aspects of immigration law practice. Our panelists: David Richmond and Salvador Cicero, both practitioners of immigration law, shared their practical experiences at their respective law firms and provided valuable career advice to our attendees.

The final panel discussion, led by Chicago-Kent HLLSA President Veronica Cortez, hosted four members of the judiciary who shared their experiences at the bench. Our panelists: Hon. Edward Arce, Hon. Mark Lopez, Hon. Luciano Panici, and Hon. Raul Vega from Cook County explained their work, discussed interesting cases currently before them, and encouraged students to pursue careers in the judiciary. The Cook county judges concluded the event by inviting students to visit their courtrooms so the students can witness the judges daily work.

Overall, it was a rewarding experience to witness our community gathering together and participate in academic discussions. It was a pleasure to work with the panelists, moderators, presenters, and others who volunteer their time and effort to make this 2012 “Encuentro” for the Central Region a great success!

See you at the National Conference this fall at UCLA.


Omar Salguero

NLLSA Central Region Director

Northern Illinois College of Law 2012



2012 Hill and Government Days

In Academic,Legislation,NLLSA,Politics,Race,U.S. Government on January 27, 2012 by NLLSA Chair

Please join the National Latina/o Law Student Association and the National Black Law Student Association for the 2012 Hill and Government Days to take place on February 8 and 9, 2012!

Please register at the following link:


Please Join the University of Pennsylvania LALSA for their 2012 Conference

In Academic,Conference,Education,Elections,Law schools,NLLSA,Politics,Race on January 22, 2012 by NLLSA Chair Tagged:

Please find registration information at the following link:


Recap of NLLSA’s Inaugural Central Region Encuentro, June 25, 2011 in Chicago, IL

In Academic,Conference,Law firms,Law schools,NLLSA,Universities on July 11, 2011 by NLLSA Chair

Central Region Encuentro at Northwestern University School of Law on Saturday June 25, 2011

On Saturday, June 25, 2011, The National Latina/o Law Student Association and the Northwestern Latino Law Student’s Association co-hosted the Central Region Encuentro at Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago, Illinois.  We had students, attorneys, and judges present about opportunities both during and after law school and were able to network and learn about each other’s organizations and continued commitment to our communities.

The Central Region Encuentro attracted students from schools in Tennessee, Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan.  Represented schools included Notre Dame, Indiana University, Cooley, John Marshall, Vanderbilt, Northwestern, DePaul, Loyola and Northern Illinois.  We had a wide range of student attendees including students of the classes of 2009 to 2014.

Judge Ruben Castillo with NLLSA Central Regional Director Cristal Cabrera (left) and NLLSA Chair Barbara Barreno (right)

The Encuentro began with a welcome address by the Honorable Ruben Castillo from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.  He spoke about his experience as a Northwestern law student and his career path to becoming a District Court Judge.  Our next presentation was by Northern Illinois Law Student Karla Altmayer who presented about the Excelencia School of Chicago which is a charter school in the Humbolt Park community intended for bicultural and bilingual students who often need extra assistance in certain subjects due to language barriers.  Ms. Altmayer shared resources and information about how law students and attorneys can help with the school.  After the presentations, the Encuentro continued with our panel discussions, “Maintaining a Connection with Our Communities through Public Service” and “Latino Business Leaders in the Legal Profession.”

"Maintaining a Connection with Our Communities through Public Service"

Maintaining a Connection with Our Communities through Public Service

The first panel discussion, led by NLLSA Chair Barbara Barreno, focused on public service.  We had Ms. Claudia Castro from the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office speak about careers in criminal prosecution, Ms. Rosa Maria Silva from the Cook County Public Defender’s Office present about careers in criminal defense, and Ms. Litza Mavrothalasitis from Jenner & Block LLP share information about the importance of pro bono work while working at a large law firm.  After this panel, the Encuentro focused more on the private sector.

"Latino Business Leaders in the Legal Profession"

The second panel discussion, led by NLLSA Central Regional Director Cristal Cabrera, focused on starting a law firm.  We had Mr. Homer Tristan, founding partner of Tristan & Cervantes, Rene Cruz, co-founder of the Law Offices of Gil & Cruz, and Salvador Cicero, founder of the Cicero Law Firm, share their decision to and experience in starting their own law firms.  The business leaders also stressed the importance of their involvement in their communities through organizations like the Aurora Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois.

Homero Tristan, Rene Cruz, Raphael Sznajder, Salvador Cicero, Judge Jesse G. Reyes, and Caitlin Kovacs

Judge David Delgado from the Cook County Circuit Court

The final portion of the Central Region Encuentro included a luncheon with Cook County Circuit Court Judges Jesse G. Reyes and David Delgado. They shared their experiences in becoming judges and their selection process for law clerks.  Each judge had unique experiences and preferences, but one common denominator in their presentations was that they were involved in their communities and in organizations like NLLSA.  They encouraged us to stay involved in our communities and in organizations that bring diverse students together whether it is the Latino Law Student Association or the Student Bar Association.  Judge Delgado’s words were, “The fact that you are here today, sets you apart from the others,” because it shows a commitment not only to your professional development, but also to the legal profession.

Judge Jesse G. Reyes from the Cook County Circuit Court, Chancery Division with the Central Region Encuentro Planning Committee

We would like to thank our sponsors Winston & Strawn LLP and the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois for donating their time and resources and Northwestern Law School for allowing us to have a successful Central Region Encuentro!

The next NLLSA Encuentro will be hosted by the Pacific Region on Tuesday July 12, in San Francisco, California.  Please contact the Pacific Regional Director Frankie Guzman at for more information.


Call for Papers: 2011 LatCrit Student Scholar Program (SSP)–Application Deadline is Monday, June 6, 2011

In Academic,NLLSA,Race,Universities on May 10, 2011 by Barbara Tagged: , , ,

Since 2003, the Student Scholar Program (SSP) has helped numerous law students (and several graduate students from the global South) pursue their goals of becoming activist scholars.  At last count eight SSP alumni had become tenure-track US law professors.

The call for papers, application form, and guidelines are attached and available online at

Submissions should be sent to Professor Sumi Cho, c/o Lawrence Arendt at, using “SSP Submission” in the subject line, by 4pm Central time on Monday June 6th

Questions may be directed to the SSP co-chairs, Professor Sumi Cho, DePaul University College of Law,, and Professor Marc-Tizoc González,


How to Outline for Law School Exams

In Academic on March 15, 2011 by NLLSA Attorney General Tagged: , , ,

The key to success in the traditional law school class is to focus on the exam.  The pressures of the Socratic method often lead law students to dwell on their performance in class instead of on the only graded exercise in the course.  Instead, spend your time creating a strong outline for the exam.

Here, I will walk you through my first year Contracts Outline (attached in it’s entirety, below) as I describe my process of creating a solid law school outline. MORE…

Click to continue!


Maryland State Senate to Vote on Critical Immigrant Issue

In Academic,DREAM Act,Immigration,Legislation,Politics on March 7, 2011 by NLLSA Policy Initiative Director

The Maryland State Senate is preparing to vote on March 8th on whether or not to give undocumented students who reside in Maryland the right to pay the in-state tuition rate that documented students pay to attend the state’s public institutions of higher learning.  The measure has passed through the Senate Committee on Education and has gained considerable momentum.

The bill was introduced by freshman Senator Victor Ramirez and it would open the door to higher education for many Maryland students.  One of the bill’s key amendments would require undocumented students to attend a community college and transfer into a university prior to receiving the in-state tuition rate.  Nevertheless, this state bill will be happily embraced by the undocumented student community who were discouraged by the defeat of the national “DREAM Act” legislation that failed to pass through the United States Senate after passing through the United States House of Representatives.

The full story can be found here.  Hopefully the Maryland State Senate can pass the legislation and provide relief to thousands of students.  The success of this measure can have a significant effect on the prospect of national legislation affecting the education of undocumented students.

10 States (Washington, California, Utah, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas, Illinois, and New York) already provide in-state tuition rates to undocumented students.  Maryland would become the 11th if this bill were to pass.